New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s legal team is ‘surprised and disappointed’ that prosecutors have denied their request to stop the ‘sexual and graphic’ videos from inside an Asian spa from being released to the public.
Hidden camera footage of the billionaire allegedly engaging in sex acts with prostitutes at a Florida day spa is expected to be released at some point, to the dismay of lead attorney William Burck, who said authorities had denied the request for a protective order over the evidence in the case.
Earlier this week, attorneys for the 77-year-old billionaire and 14 other defendants in the case motioned to suppress the video which was subsequently rejected.
Burck said: ‘We put in a motion for a protective order of the evidence in this case, a standard request in any case to keep evidence protected until trial – especially since the video evidence supposedly contains private moments between [two or more] people.
‘We’ve been surprised and disappointed that the state attorney did not sign on to the protective order, because it is a standard procedure in a criminal case. They declined to agree to the protective order.’
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s legal team is ‘surprised and disappointed’ that prosecutors have denied their request to stop the ‘sexual and graphic’ videos from inside an Asian spa from being released to the public
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder (left) believes the Kraft tape will be released. Kraft visited the Orchids of Asia day spa in Jupiter, Florida twice in a 24-hour span in January, according to police records. The first visit occurred on January 19, when Kraft allegedly received hand stimulation from 45-year-old spa manager Lei Wang (right) and a 58-year-old spa employee named Shen Mingbi. Neither Wang nor Mingbi are believed to be victims of human trafficking. According to the affidavit, Kraft paid both women with a $100 bill
Hidden camera footage of the billionaire allegedly engaging in sex acts with prostitutes at a Florida day spa is expected to be released at some point, to the dismay of lead attorney William Burck (pictured right), who said authorities had denied the request for a protective order over the evidence in the case
I do think ultimately they are probably going to get released,’ Martin County Sheriff William Snyder told CNBC on Thursday, a day after Kraft and his co-defendants filed the joint motion.
‘Once a case is over, it’s not an ongoing investigation,’ Snyder said. ‘There has to be a specific reason not to release a public record. And the fact that there is sexual activity is not an exemption.’
Snyder oversaw the prostitution and human-trafficking investigation that allegedly captured Kraft making two visits to the spa within a 24-hour period in January, when women working as prostitutes ‘manipulated his genitals’ and one woman allegedly performed oral sex on the billionaire.
Neither of the women who allegedly performed the sex acts on Kraft are believed to have been trafficked.
Kraft has pleaded not guilty and has publicly denied any criminal wrongdoing in the case.
Police previously said there is video evidence of everyone accused of solicitation in the prostitution sting involving several Florida massage parlors and spas.
In the motion obtained by the Daily Mail, defendants’ attorneys argue that the case is still active, and therefore police and prosecutors should be forbidden from releasing evidence to the public.
However Snyder believes that Florida’s open-records law will allow for the video to be publicized when the case is closed.
‘The question is if they plead guilty and the case goes away, will it be subject to public record?’ Snyder said. ‘I think the answer is likely yes.’
‘But until then there is a court order that seals those files,’ Snyder added.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Kraft and other defendants were offered a plea deal that would require them to admit they would have been found guilty of soliciting prostitutes, but according to the New York Post, Kraft is not interested in any such deal.
‘One-hundred percent no way he’s taking the deal,’ a source told the Post.
‘Kraft strongly insists he didn’t do anything wrong, and he isn’t going to take a deal that indicates he did,’ the source told the Post.
If Kraft chooses to go to trial and is convicted, he could receive one year in jail, a $5,000 fine and 100 hours of community service.
As CNBC reported last week, police obtained a warrant allowing them to enter the spas and install hidden cameras.
According to Snyder, the detectives did not pose as spa employees, but rather workers in other occupations. After gaining access to the Orchids of Asia Day Spa that Kraft visited, cameras were installed that captured ‘explicit sexual and graphic’ acts involving the billionaire.
‘I watched and just left the room,’ he said. ‘There is nothing to see. It’s pretty ugly.’
Snyder gave a warning to anyone considering soliciting in his jurisdiction: ‘If you want to engage a prostitute, you have the risk of being videotaped if you do it in Martin County.’
I watched and just left the room. There is nothing to see. It’s pretty ugly.
Martin County Sheriff William Snyder to CNBC
Kraft visited the Orchids of Asia day spa in Jupiter, Florida twice in a 24-hour span in January, according to police records.
The first visit occurred on January 19, when Kraft allegedly received hand stimulation from 45-year-old spa manager Lei Wang and a 58-year-old spa employee named Shen Mingbi.
Neither Wang nor Mingbi are believed to be victims of human trafficking.
According to the affidavit, Kraft paid both women with a $100 bill.
Wang has been arrested and charged with maintaining a house of prostitution, but Mingbi has not been charged.
The second visit occurred on January 20, just hours before Kraft flew to Kansas City for the AFC Title game between the Patriots and the Kansas City Chief.
That day, Kraft received oral sex from Wang, who is known as ‘Lulu.’ Kraft allegedly paid her with a $100 bill and another unidentified bill before leaving.
Kraft was charged last month with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution at Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Florida (pictured)
The NFL has insisted that Kraft will not get any special treatment as it addresses his sex solicitation case.
‘Our Personal Conduct Policy applies equally to everyone in the NFL. We will handle this allegation in the same way we would handle any issue under the Policy,’ it said in a statement after Kraft was charged.
‘We are seeking a full understanding of the facts, while ensuring that we do not interfere with an ongoing law enforcement investigation. We will take appropriate action as warranted based on the facts.’
Commissioner Roger Goodell could fine or suspend Kraft from any activities involving this year’s Super Bowl champions, and there will likely be a league inquiry.
The NFL’s personal conduct policy states that ‘ownership and club or league management have traditionally been held to a higher standard and will be subject to more significant discipline.
‘It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. We are all held to a higher standard and must conduct ourselves in a way that is responsible, promotes the values of the NFL, and is lawful,’ it states.